Speaking of immigration, a press conference will be held this morning at the state Capitol to protest Senate Bill 458.
The event will be attended by the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance, ACLU of Georgia, Freedom University, Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights and state Sen. Nan Orrock of Atlanta. College and high school students are also expected to participate in the 10 a.m. news conference.
SB 458 would bar illegal immigrants from attending all Georgia public colleges. The bill passed a Senate committee last week.
But it was the proposed rule of banning some students from the 35 colleges in the University System of Georgia and the 25 in the Technical College System of Georgia that occupied nearly all of the 90-minute discussion.
Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, sponsored SB 458 and described it as a simple measure. He said illegal immigrants are taking college slots away from citizens and stressed they won’t be able to legally work in this country after graduation.“Our colleges and universities are for those that are U.S. citizens and are here legally,” he said.
Loudermilk and others said the University System is violating federal law by admitting these students because attending a public college is a benefit reserved for lawful residents.
Federal law does not bar illegal immigrants from attending public colleges, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The agency wrote in 2008 that “… individual states must decide for themselves whether or not to admit illegal aliens into their public postsecondary institutions.”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog